IDPH Clears Path for School Sports to Resume in West Central Illinois

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 22, 2021 at 4:00pm

The ball is now in the IHSA’s court, as school sports are set to return in West Central Illinois

Sports are now allowed in Regions of the state that have reached Phase 4 COVID mitigations under new guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Governor J.B. Pritzker and State Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced changes to IDPH’s sports safety guidance which now permits high-risk sports to resume competitive games.

Regions in Phase 4, including West Central, Southeastern, and East Central can now play all sports, including basketball, football, and wrestling. Sports deemed to be a moderate risk such as Volleyball, Soccer, and Baseball are also under the same guidelines and are allowed to resume play.

Ezike says she has been getting many emails and calls from students, parents, and coaches. She says she knows how important school sports are to youth development.

Some restrictions still are in place, however. Sports can now be played intra-conference, intra-league, and/or intra-region but state series and league championships will not be permitted.

The Illinois High School Association regular guidance calls for the end of winter sports seasons on February 13th, with spring sports kicking off normally on the 15th.

The IHSA is scheduled to meet next Wednesday to discuss if and how extending or moving sports seasons around could be possible.